Thursday, February 02, 2012

100 day Challenge: 1 month down!

I got through the entire month of January with at least 30 minutes of "intentional movement" every single day.  Most days it was easy to get my 30 minutes in.  The simplest days were when I went out and rode my bike or took Tae Kwon Do class.  I actually got out and rode 320 miles during the month of January.  I don't remember the last time I got out on my bike that much.

There were a few days where I was not convinced I was going to do 30 minutes of exercise.  There was last Monday when I had to work and couldn't take my regular Tae Kwon Do class.  It was miserable rainy day so taking a run or a walk outdoors wasn't really an option.  I'm rather a wimp when it comes to running in the rain when it's 40 degrees out.  So without the benefit of a home gym, treadmill or a bike on a wind trainer one has to become creative.   It was time to do Grandmaster Kim's bowing meditations.  This is something he really feels strongly about his students doing on a daily basis.  I'm not very disciplined about these types of things. 

It's hard to describe exactly what a bowing meditation move is.  I tried to describe in words and then decided there must be something on YouTube.  Sure enough there.  This video isn't exactly how we do it our Tae Kwon Do school, but you'll get the gist of how it goes.  It is a good workout.

I set the timer on my iPhone for 15 minutes and do them. I gave up trying to count.  I'm sure the yoga folks wouldn't approve of my music choice.  I listen to Christian rock worship music while doing it.  Listening to a Christian artist such as Chris Tomlin while doing the bows helps me to focus on God. The time actually passes quickly.  I do them using my hands to lower myself of go down one leg at a time.  It does work the quad muscles and stretches out the back.  After the bows a did a little weight training.  I'm using some of the upper body workouts in the Women's Body for Life book.

This routine works well for me so at least I've found something I go do indoors when all attempts of outdoor activity fails.  I do have some challenges facing me in the upcoming weeks.  Weekend work and some travel will make it so I'll have to force myself to GMBOOBEAE.  That stands for Get My Butt Out Of Bed Early And Exercise.

Stay tuned as I continue to work my way through this journey of movement for the sake of moving.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Newest Quest: 100 Day Challenge

It's almost the end of January.  I'm not one to make New Years resolutions.  I do look to set goals for the up coming year.  Is there a difference?  I think so.  Most New Years resolutions go something like this;

"I resolve to go to the gym x days a week."

"I resolve to lose x number of pounds by December 31st."

"I resolve to stop doing __________. (pick your own vice)"

These are admirable things to aim for, but as soon one doesn't go to the gym x times a week, doesn't lose weight at the rate wanted, or starts doing _____ again she feels like a failure.  That usually leads to beating up on one's self and just throwing in the towel.

I have two very concrete goals for myself in terms of my sporting life.

1. Get my second degree Black Belt.
2. Do a triathlon again. (sprint or Olympic)

All of this being said, I've decided to accept John "The Penguin" Bingham's 100 day challenge.  The basic premise is this; "You can be a part of it. The rules are simple. Choose to move, intentionally, for 30 minutes every day for the first 100 days of 2012. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it ON PURPOSE."

Why do I need to do this? After all I've trained for triathlons, marathons, bike races, centuries, Tae Kwon Do, etc.  Don't I already do enough? Yes and no.  I can do plenty when I have people to ride with and Tae Kwon Do classes to attend.  It's those days when it's too cold to ride outdoors, or I can't make it to Tae Kwon Do.  Can I get myself out the door to take a walk or a run in the cold?  If it's too miserable outside can I get myself to do a little strength training, Tae Kwon Do practice, or *gasp* set up the wind trainer and ride indoors?

I admit it. I am lazy and I hate doing things by myself.  It's hard for me to drag my lazy butt out the door to go run, bike or walk by myself.  I want someone to talk to while I'm doing these things.  Sometimes I think I just workout for the social aspect of it.  It's probably a carryover from my youth where sports were my in with the cool kids.  Would I be so devoted to exercise if I never could do it with anyone?  I'm not so sure.  There were  many times where I couldn't bike because I was injured.  Instead of finding an alternative, I would just eat my way through my pity party.  The idea of taking a walk by myself to keep some level of fitness was not on my radar.

I know that exercise is important both physically and emotionally.  As someone who is closer to 60 then 50 I recognize the need to keep moving.  Last year a friend had recommended reading "Younger Next Year" There's woman specific version of the book.  It's an interesting book.  Basically the authors are saying exercise 6 days a week to help turn back the clock.  I'm sure not everyone agrees with their advice, but I think the overall premise is sound.  For me the 100 Day Challenge is to encourage me to keep moving even when I have no one to keep me company.  Though in some ways I do have company.  There's a Facebook page where everyone is sharing what they're doing each day.  Also I have friends who are also doing it.

My original intent was to write this post on January 1st.  Then share  how I'm doing with the challenge. Okay I'm 25 days late.  Being the procrastinator I am, that should be no surprise.  Better late, then never.  Obviously since I went to the trouble to write this post, I'm still on track.  Tae Kwon Do classes, Gimbels and unemployment rides have filled up many of these January days so far.  However I managed to get my 30 minutes in despite traveling for a chess tournament and dealing with very cold weather. 

Day 26 awaits!!